The battle continues. Are guns the real problem in this country? Is it mental illness? The truth is we can never understand what is the true problem. It could be a mix of all the above. Perhaps none. Maybe it's an American thing. This country was built on blood and murder after all. However, out of all the articles and features I've read, this one was by far my favorite. Haley Elkins gives her readers a first-hand experience from an all-American, midwestern gun-lover.
To be frank, I don't always enjoy the articles I discuss on here. Even when I do, I sometimes feel like I'm forcing myself to read them. But Elkins' piece drew me. Seriously. I read it nonstop. Until my nephew would make me pause to help him unlock my phone to allow him to continue his virtual crocodile venture. Elkins writes with details, drama and suspense. She gives the other side's perspective.
She likes guns. In her words, "I love guns." The difference between her and the crazed murderers of past massacres is her respect for guns. And her fear, too. A gun is a powerful thing. It's a weapon capable of killing one person. Or two. Or twenty children. Elkins nearly died by a gun. But you see, she's more of a shotgun-kind-of-girl. She describes it best why:
There's a lot of ritual and meditation that goes into loading a shotgun, so it's kind of hard to accidentally kill the postman…
That's how she described it to her husband when recommending buying one for their home. A shotgun takes time to load. One can feel its power when he or she shoots. (I've never shot a gun myself, but movies give enough depiction for me.) Semi-automatics and pistols are quite different.
I was given a Jericho, a semi-automatic, for my 16th birthday. I loathed it the first (and last) time I ever handled it. It was far heavier than I'd expected it to be, because it looked so small compared to my shotgun. And earnestly? It looked evil. It felt evil. This was a gun invented to do evil things. And the fact that it was so easy to wave around fucking terrified me.
Her husband describes it as a gun right out of a video game. These are guns so easy to shoot. So easy to kill. These are the guns that shoot the most bullets, though. The guns that Adam Lanza, James Holmes and Jeffrey Weise used to kill their victims. These are the guns that need to be swept off our streets.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a fan of a gun that can (literally) blow someone's head off, either. However, at least a shotgun fires one shot instead of a hundred in a minute. I'm all for gun control. For those knuckle heads who don't understand, (excuse the caps) GUN CONTROL IS NOT A GUN BAN. People need guns. There should be a form of protection for citizens. However, should it be so easy for someone to purchase a gun.
If any of you have seen "Bowling for Columbine," you'd remember the bank that handed out guns if you'd open an account with them. How ridiculous is that? I need to know that a psycho can't walk down the block, deposit $50 into a bank and receive a free gun.
Some people say Obama can't do much. He's not the one who makes the ultimate decision. And they're right. However, he's the President of the United States. He is our voice. He is the face of the people in this country. He hears our cries. He hears Elkins' screams.
So if he can't make change, who can? Honestly, screw the government system. I could give a damn who is the one who makes the calls or what the president needs to go through to make change. That's Obama's slogan, right? "Change." Well, where the hell is it? And damn anyone who makes excuses for our president simply because he has to go through Congress and all that.
I believe a strong-willed president can do anything. Unfortunately, those types of presidents no longer exist. I'm not sure if they ever have. I sometimes feel this country is a lost cause. Too many ignorant people led by even more ignorant people.
I'm starting to ramble. Sorry. My anger and frustration overpower sometimes. Either way, definitely give Elkins' piece a read. It is so, so worth it. I just hope her screams (and our nation's) will silence soon.